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SMX Advanced: Thriving in the New World of Pagination

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Learn how to ensure that search engines can access & index your paginated URLs and the links contained within them.

Published in: Marketing

SMX Advanced: Thriving in the New World of Pagination

  1. 1. @lilyraynyc
  2. 2. @lilyraynyc Lily Ray Director, SEO
  3. 3. @lilyraynyc I’m not going to think about SEO for 4 days. March 21, 2019
  4. 4. @lilyraynyc Then this happened.
  5. 5. @lilyraynyc LET’S TALK ABOUT PAGINATION
  6. 6. @lilyraynyc What is Pagination Used For? • Ecommerce category pages • Blogs (lists of articles) • Reviews • Breaking up articles into sections
  7. 7. @lilyraynyc A History of Rel = Prev/Next <link rel="next" href="http://www.website.com/ article?page=2" /> <link rel="prev" href="http://www.example.com/a rticle?page=1" /> <link rel="next" href="http://www.example.com/a rticle?page=3" /> <link rel="prev" href="http://www.example.com/a rticle?page=2" /> <link rel="next" href="http://www.example.com/a rticle?page=4" /> page 1 page 2 page 3
  8. 8. @lilyraynyc “Rel prev / next consolidates indexing properties, such as links, from the component pages/URLs to the series as a whole, and sends users to the most relevant URL.”
  9. 9. @lilyraynyc Add that one to the Google graveyard…
  10. 10. @lilyraynyc So, what should we do now?
  11. 11. @lilyraynyc Option 1: Do Nothing • Other search engines still use rel prev/next tags • Used for web accessibility & ADA compliance • Recommended byW3C • Bonus: avoids undoing something you probably just implemented!
  12. 12. @lilyraynyc How it Works • Split up content among multiple pages • Each page in series has a self- referencing canonical tag • Important: • Do not canonicalize deeper pages to page 1 of series • Do not add noindex tags to important paginated URLs • Do not block paginated URLs using robots.txt Credit: John Dietrich & Eric Enge, StoneTemple / Perficient Digital “PaginationCanonicalization & SEO:YourTechnical Guide”
  13. 13. @lilyraynyc Adding More Links to Paginated URLs This implementation can create excessive crawl depth More links to pagination reduces crawl depth 1 2 3 101 200 Mid-point links can further improve crawlability for very large series of paginated URLs
  14. 14. @lilyraynyc Portent Study on Pagination Source: Matthew Henry, Portent https://bit.ly/2qQWIWm
  15. 15. @lilyraynyc Option 2: Single-Page Content
  16. 16. @lilyraynyc Implementation • Create a “view all page” • Display all products or articles on this one page • Make this page canonical • If pagination is still in effect, canonicalize paginated URLs to “view all” page
  17. 17. @lilyraynyc Pros: Cons: • Increases ability to rank for relevant keywords on one page • Easy to manage • Less bloat in search engine indexes View All Page: • Can slow down the page • Tip: implement lazy loading • Can impact UX • Tip: consider adding jumplinks and/or AJAX enabled faceted navigation
  18. 18. @lilyraynyc Option 3: Infinite Scroll or “Load More” Buttons + Pagination Load More
  19. 19. @lilyraynyc 2019 Deepcrawl Study (by Adam Gent):: Credit: Adam Gent, Deepcrawl “The State of theWeb: Search Friendly Pagination and Infinite Scroll” • Analyzed pagination setup on 150 sites fromAlexa 500 • 65% of sites had pagination implementation set up incorrectly for SEO • Issues largely stemmed from infinite scroll & load more buttons
  20. 20. @lilyraynyc Getting Implementation Right • For infinite scroll or load more buttons: make sure paginated URLs have unique URLs (static or dynamic both work) • Leverage history API to change URLs if needed • Mandatory: include crawlable <a href> links to paginated URLs! • Do not rely on JavaScript (scrolling, onclick events) to load paginated components Two examples: https://bit.ly/2YmBv2E https://bit.ly/2Q1LUxQ
  21. 21. @lilyraynyc History API causes URL to change as user scrolls https://bit.ly/2Q1LUxQ Codex Example Infinite scroll in effect Sticky <a href> links to paginated URLs
  22. 22. @lilyraynyc Load More Buttons 1. Check the page source & DOM to make sure “load more” buttons contain links to paginated URLs 2. Make sure links to these URLs are <a href> and not JavaScript events
  23. 23. @lilyraynyc RESULTS
  24. 24. @lilyraynyc Problem: Infinite scroll without <a href> links to paginated URLs Case Study 1: Large E-Commerce Brand 60.4 million URLs are crawled 234 million times in 90 days. Paginated URLs Only Full Website 228 paginated URLs crawled 600 times in 90 days. Thousands of paginated URLs are not crawled at all.
  25. 25. @lilyraynyc Case Study 2: Large E-Commerce Brand Problem: Pagination implemented correctly, but only 1 paginated link offered per page in the series (“next page.”) Solution: Added links to pages 1-10 from first page. Results: 7% increase in traffic period-over-period and 34% YOY. Improvement in crawl stats: Only paginated URLS: Crawl rate improved by 21.5% and depth declined by 74.5% All website URLs: Crawl rate improved by 14.6% and depth declined by 34.2%
  26. 26. @lilyraynyc Share these #SMXInsights on your social channels! 1. Pick the right method of pagination for your website’s unique needs
  27. 27. @lilyraynyc Share these #SMXInsights on your social channels! 1. Pick the right method of pagination for your website’s unique needs 2. Don’t noindex (important) paginated URLs or block them from being crawled
  28. 28. @lilyraynyc Share these #SMXInsights on your social channels! 1. Pick the right method of pagination for your website’s unique needs 2. Don’t noindex (important) paginated URLs or block them from being crawled 3. Include <a href> links to paginated URLs and try to link to multiple pages in the series
  29. 29. @lilyraynyc

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